Microsoft Announces 10-Year Deal to Bring Call of Duty on Nintendo Switch

As Microsoft is set to meet with FTC Chair Lina Khan today to discuss its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the company has just announced a 10-year deal to bring Call of Duty to the Nintendo Switch. The company also pledged to continue releasing Call of Duty games on Valve’s Steam platform.

Microsoft bringing Call of Duty to the Nintendo Switch is a big deal, though it will likely be difficult to adapt the photorealistic shooter to the Switch’s aging hardware. The last Call of Duty game that shipped on a Nintendo console was Call of Duty: Ghosts, which was released on the Wii:U back in 2013.

Speaking with the Washington Post, Spencer said that Microsoft won’t be able to estimate when it will be able to release its first Call of Duty game on Nintendo Switch until it closes its acquisition of Activision Blizzard next year. If all regulators approve the deal, that could be in June 2023.

“You can imagine if [the deal] closed on that date, starting to do development work to make that happen would likely take a little bit of time,” Spencer said. “Once we get into the rhythm of this, our plan would be that when [a Call of Duty game] launches on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC, that it would also be available on Nintendo at the same time.”

Microsoft offered the same 10-year deal to Sony, which made it clear that the deal could harm its PlayStation business. However, the Japanese company hasn’t accepted it yet and it probably has no reason to help Microsoft address the concerns of regulators.

“There’s been one game industry participant that’s really been raising all the objections, and that’s Sony, and they’ve been fairly public about the things that don’t meet their expectations,” Spencer said to Bloomberg. “From where we sit, it’s clear they’re spending more time with the regulators than they are with us to try and get this deal done.”

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